Three Ps that Hinder and Help Performance

In both life and business, three Ps are a sure bet to hinder your performance: Procrastination, Paralysis, and Perfectionism. These barriers can stall progress and stunt growth, but the good news is there are antidotes—three more Ps: Patience, Persistence, and Productivity. Let’s dive into how you can overcome the first set and embrace the second to boost your performance.


Procrastination is that nagging voice in your head saying you should start something, but you keep pushing the start line back. We’ve all been there, finding “reasons” not to begin what we know we should. The reality is, you can start any time you want.

Overcoming procrastination often involves unrelated activities that set a positive tone for the day. For instance, I wake up before 5 AM to walk, run, and read. This routine has become a keystone habit for me. By consistently engaging in these activities, I find it easier to start and complete other tasks throughout the day. It’s a domino effect; one good habit bleeds into others.


Paralysis occurs when you get started but become bogged down by insignificant details. I encountered this while working at an insurance company, responsible for producing monthly sales reports. Sales leaders always wanted more data, but data doesn’t visit clients, make phone calls, or send prospecting emails. Focusing on minutiae can prevent you from moving forward on what truly matters.


Perfectionism is often described as the enemy of good. While striving for greatness can be beneficial, most tasks don’t require perfection. Spending too much time perfecting proposals, presentations, or emails can impede your overall productivity. In most sales jobs, good enough often is good enough, and allows you to move on to the next important task.

The Antidote

But don’t get down on the letter P. It’s not P’s fault. There are three more Ps that can help you unleash your performance: Patience, Persistence, and Productivity.


Patience is key because Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your career. When I started my own venture, I was discouraged by the fourth month due to a lack of responses. Then, suddenly, half a dozen prospects reached out within 24 hours. The realization hit me—they had other priorities. Patience helped me stay the course.


Selling can be a grind, and there’s no shortcut to making daily calls and sending emails. Patient persistence pays off. After consistent outreach, emails were returned, and phone calls came in. People noticed my efforts but often responded when it suited their timing. Staying consistently in front of prospects—through emails, calls, and LinkedIn content—ensures you’re top of mind when they’re ready to engage.


An ancient Chinese proverb says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Productivity is about taking that first step and continuing to move forward. Making the first call or sending the first email of the day makes the subsequent ones easier. The sense of accomplishment fuels further productivity, making work not just easier but enjoyable.

We’re All in Sales

Even if you don’t identify as a salesperson, if you’re a business owner, you’re in sales. I’m a keynote speaker, coach, and consultant, but I don’t do any of those activities until a sale is made. That makes me a salesperson. Every interaction is an opportunity to sell—not just products or services, but ideas, yourself, and your vision.

Selling is fundamentally about influence and persuasion. It’s about moving people to take action they might not otherwise consider. Understanding the principles of influence, as revealed by Dr. Robert Cialdini, can enhance your ability to persuade ethically and effectively.

In conclusion, don’t let procrastination, paralysis, and perfectionism hinder your progress. Instead, embrace patience, persistence, and productivity to unlock your full potential. 

Share your thoughts and experiences with these concepts in the comments below. How have you overcome these barriers in your life and work? Let’s inspire each other to break free from the three Ps that hinder and harness the three Ps that help.

Brian Ahearn

Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE and a faculty member at the Cialdini Institute. An author, TEDx presenter, international speaker, coach, and consultant, Brian helps clients apply influence in everyday situations to boost results.

As one of only a dozen Cialdini Method Certified Trainers in the world, Brian was personally trained and endorsed by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the science of ethical influence.

Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE, was named one of the 100 Best Influence Books of All Time by Book Authority. Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents was an Amazon new release bestseller. His latest book, The Influencer, is a business parable designed to teach you how to use influence in everyday situations.

Brian’s LinkedIn courses on persuasive selling and coaching have been viewed by over 700,000 people around the world and his TEDx Talk on pre-suasion has more than a million views!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.